As of 1 July 2021, Slovenia holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU for the next 6 months. Disability is not one of the top priorities, but under the slogan “Together. Resilient. Europe”, there are nevertheless a few interesting initiatives for the Disability Movement in the EU.
In its Presidency Priorities, the focus is on recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, strengthening the rule of law, and securing the EU neighbourhood and in particular the Western Balkans. Under those big headlines, disability can be mainstreamed for example in the following initiatives:
- European Health Union and the proposal to establish a Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)
- Implementation of the Next Generation EU funding instrument and the Recovery and Resilience Facility
- Green transition and the fight against climate change
- Digital transition and Artificial Intelligence
- A lifelong approach to address demographic challenges
We will pay particular attention to the last priority on demographic challenges, because the Presidency wants to address amongst others the implementation of the Pillar of Social Rights, inclusive employment, and the implementation of the Child Guarantee.
In terms of events, one highlight is the Presidency Conference “Empowering persons with disabilities to fully participate in society by increasing their mobility and disability” on 20 November 2021, which will also include a panel on the Disability Card and inclusive mobility in general.
We have also asked the Slovenian Presidency to adopt Council Conclusions on the Disability Card, but we have not received a reply yet. We will continue to work closely with our Slovenian member organisation NSIOS throughout the Presidency.
Marie Denninghaus – Policy Coordinator